Club Spotlight: Western University Vegan Society

Welcome to Clubs Spotlight, a weekly series where we’re looking at different clubs all across Western’s campus! Want your club to be featured next? Email us at [email protected] for more information!

This week we sat down with Ayesha Suri, President of the Western University Vegan Society (WUVS)!

According to Ayesha, WUVS “is an inclusive community working towards a peaceful world, free from violence and discrimination towards all animals— human and non.” The club works to promote the abolition of animal exploitation through creative, nonviolent vegan education. For Ayesha, their goal is “to create a community and offer a support group amongst Western students who are vegan, vegetarian, or simply interested in learning more about the animal rights movement!”

1. What’s your role in the club?

I am proudly the Club President!

2. What’s one initiative your club is undertaking this year that you’re excited about?

Last semester during a vegan outreach event, I met a kind student from Huron College. While talking to her, she opened up to me about the struggles she has had as a vegan at Western. She said because of the lack of options, when she is at school she has to be vegetarian. Unfortunately, this student’s story is not unique but rather quite common to Western students. Hearing her story and others like hers, motivated me immensely, and this year one of our main initiatives is working with the university to expand the number of vegan options available on campus.

While there are some great vegan options on campus, there has been a significant increase in the vegan and vegetarian population at Western and we firmly believe the number of options available should grow with this population.

More specifically, we recognize that there is a lack of plant-based milk available on campus (especially ones that don’t come with an additional charge) and a lack of vegan treats. Meal options in general are also limited to salad, veggie stir-fry, and veggie burgers. Contrary to popular belief, vegans eat more than this—we indulge in Mac n’ “Cheeze,” ChickUN wings, BacUN, pizza and so much more, so we hope to see a better representation of vegan food on campus.

Fortunately, Hospitality Services has been outstandingly receptive to our requests and have agreed to work with us this year to make veganism more accessible across campus. Last year, Hospitality Services also helped me make veganeats.ca —  a Vegan Guide to Western! It is essentially a database of every vegan option available on campus. Shout out to Anne Zok, the nutrition manager, for her endless support with that project and all my ideas!

Grocery Checkout, the grocery store on campus, has also been extremely supportive! I reached out to the store manager, Len, who worked with me to add another vegan treat option on campus. Grocery Checkout now sells Shockingly Healthy’s delicious vegan cookies and squares and last year Len added Sweets From The Earth vegan cookies as well, which is so exciting!

3. Why should people join your club?

Throughout the year we host a variety of fun educational and social events. These include presentations by acclaimed activists and authors, workshops, film screenings, potlucks, dinner outings, sanctuary visits, and vegan outreach initiatives. Mostly all of our events include awesome vegan freebies too!

This summer, I worked hard to make veganism a little more accessible to students on campus. I contacted all the vegan & veg-friendly businesses within our community and asked for their support in offering our members a discount card. Fortunately, 15 awesome businesses agreed to partner with us by offering perks that can be used an UNLIMITED number of times throughout the school year. This initiative introduces Western students to the diverse range of vegan cuisines, sweets and shopping that London has to offer at a discounted rate! In order to get one of these awesome member perk cards, all you students need to do is join the Western University Vegan Society! This year students will also receive a FREE mini vegan and cruelty-free vanilla body butter from Delizioso Skincare for joining the club!

Specific Discounts:

  • Plant Matter Kitchen - 10% off entire purchase (all 3 restaurants)

  • Globally Local - 10% off entire purchase

  • Boombox Bakeshop - 10% off entire purchase

  • Curley Brewing Co.- 10% off entire purchase

  • Chil - Buy 1, Get 1 50% off

  • Thaifoon - 10% off entire purchase

  • Zenza - 10% off a pizza or avocado toast

  • Pizza Studio - 20% off entire purchase

  • Lunah Life - 13% off entire purchase (online)

  • Delizioso Skincare - 30% off entire purchase

  • Simply Plant Food - 15 % off entire purchase (online) plus free delivery

  • Naturally Vegan Co. - 10% off on all workshops

  • Sacred Earth (Covent Market) - 10% off entire purchase

What opportunities are there for people to get involved with your club?

This year we are hoping to expand our executive team as the club has grown substantially throughout the past couple years. We are recruiting for many executive positions such as VP Finance, VP Promotions, First-Year Representative, Sorority Liaison, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Hospitality Coordinator, Media Relations Coordinator, Blog Writers, Event Developers, and more so there are LOADS of opportunities to get involved. Check out our Facebook page or blog for more information!

Speed Round:

Tims or Starbucks: Starbucks (so many plant-based milk options!)

Go to Spoke Order: Veggie bagelwich with hummus

Fave London Party Spot: Belfort and Cowboys, polar opposites, I know ;)

Study Spot: My bed

Fave London Restaurant: It is a tie between Plant Matter Kitchen and Globally Local!

King Richie's, yes or no? No, I prefer Zen’za, they have the BEST vegan pizza!

To find out more about the Western University Vegan Society, you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram or on their website.

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